WASHINGTON – Who’s a good boy? An unnamed, injured military K9 that heroically helped American warriors take out the leader of ISIS.
President Trump tweeted a photo of the U.S. military dog injured in the raid that claimed the life of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The heroic military K9 was unveiled in a tweet, reading: “We have declassified a picture of the wonderful dog (name not declassified) that did such a GREAT JOB in capturing and killing the Leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi!”
The photo was released hours after Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters during a briefing Monday that the dog “performed a tremendous service” and was “slightly wounded” but is now “fully recovering.”
The dog has “returned to duty” and is back “with its handler,” he said.
Trump first revealed Sunday that military dogs chased al-Baghdadi down a dark underground tunnel before the terrorist leader detonated a suicide vest.
We have declassified a picture of the wonderful dog (name not declassified) that did such a GREAT JOB in capturing and killing the Leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi! pic.twitter.com/PDMx9nZWvw
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 28, 2019
Defense Secretary Mark Esper, along with Milley, held the briefing Monday to discuss details of the raid, saying no U.S. troops were killed in the operation. The officials also confirmed that videos and photos of the raid exist.
“We do have videos, photos,” Milley said. “We’re not prepared at this time to release those. They’re going through a declassification process.” Nevertheless, both Trump and the officials indicated Monday that footage could be released at some stage.
Milley also said service members obtained certain “material” during the raid, but said, “I don’t want to say exactly what or how much.” Further, he confirmed that two adult men were captured alive from the compound and have been taken to a “secure facility.”
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed that the disposal of al-Baghdadi’s remains “is complete and was handled appropriately.”
A source told Fox News on Monday the remains were buried at sea – the same approach used with Al Qaeda mastermind Usama bin Laden to prevent a grave from becoming a rallying point or shrine for followers.
The death of al-Baghdadi was a milestone in the fight against ISIS, which brutalized swaths of Syria and Iraq and sought to direct a global campaign from a self-declared “caliphate.” A campaign that has lasted several years by American and allied forces led to the recapture of the group’s territorial holding, but its violent ideology has continued to inspire attacks.
UPDATE: President Trump on Wednesday tweeted a photo of the dog – whom he identified as “Conan” – and said the pup will be “leaving the Middle East for the White House sometime next week!”
The photo of Conan, whom Newsweek reports was named after comedian and talk show host Conan O’Brien, is clearly edited and shows Trump awarding the military K9 a medal. Trump dubbed it a “very cute recreation,” but said the “‘live’ version of Conan” will be visiting Washington, D.C. soon.
Thank you Daily Wire. Very cute recreation, but the “live” version of Conan will be leaving the Middle East for the White House sometime next week! https://t.co/Z1UfhxsSpT
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2019
The Belgian Malinois’ name was not previously disclosed, as it was classified information. The dog’s name had remained a military secret because of the nature of the raid that killed Baghdadi on Saturday.
Conan was hurt during the mission after being exposed to live electrical wires while pursing Baghdadi through a tunnel underneath a compound in northwestern Syria, Gen. Frank McKenzie, who leads U.S. Central Command, said Wednesday. The dog, who has worked with special operations forces for four years and taken part in about 50 missions, has since returned to active duty.
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